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Has Frank Gore *truly* lost a step?

We should make these the annual frank gore has lost a step thread. This one is version 4
I'm hoping for the opposite of NCommand's prediction. I'm hoping the added backs keep Frank healthy enough over the course of the season for him to be a bigger factor in the postseason. It killed me to see Frank take himself out of the game against the Giants and I hope we can preserve him better for the big games when we need him most.
All I know is that if Frank hurts his ankle this year or slows down due to a ding, we have some solid backs to put in there.
  • Ether
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How can Frank have his best season since the year he broke out and get called out for losing a step?
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Gore is a true Niner and nobody loves his heart and love of the game more then me. He's a winner and a leader. Period.

That said, he's been abused physically over the years and I can't remember the last time he's been truly healthy for a long stretch. If we were to look at Gore through the eyes of Bill Walsh, Gore is done and we never would have signed him LT like we just did. That contract was for what he had previous produced and our loyalty to him for all he's done for us.

If we were to objectively look at his skill-set, here are the issues:
1. Gore has never possessed the speed to run off-tackle and is certainly does not have top end speed. He is only a home run threat if he can beat a 9-man front (even then he's usually caught from behind).
2. Gore has lost a LOT of quickness as well. I counted a number of times he was caught from behind by a DL before he even got to the hole (not good). He's clearly lost his burst.
3. Gore psyche is waning as we saw the emergence of Hunter last year and his initial reaction on sidelines (no happy). Now we added Jacobs and James and other depth.
4. Gore, last year, was the worst I have ever seen him in blitz pick up and dropped passes.

In short, if you don't have a RB who can beat defenses inside the tackles AND outside the tackles, who struggled in pass catching (e.g. screens esp.) and struggled in blitz pick ups, this offense becomes one-dimensional. This is why we picked up James as he can rush inside, outside, can ad lib, is a great receiver, excels at screens, you can line him up at WR, has the vision/quickness/top-end speed, etc. Nobody has better vision in the NFL over Gore and Gore will squeeze through holes like no other. He can still be productive but last year really showed, esp. in the Giants game, that when you have a one-dimensional back, defenses can stack the box and run blitz between the tackles all day (en route to stacking the box - look at both our 1st and 3rd down yardage gains).

The FO sees this. Like with Ginn out, their presence on the field alone, forces teams to back off the LOS and respect their speed (see how Davis scored 2 TD's against them). Now, with deep speed and proven production with Moss and Manningham and Davis, you add a Sproles-like guy in Hunter/James and another sure-handed burner in Jenkins, defenses will HAVE to play off the LOS which Gore and the RB-by-committee can exploit inside and outside and in the passing game AND allow them to roll out in the flats (vs. staying in to block extra blockers = provide more outlets for Alex).

Smart FO indeed. As to Gore, don't be surprised if Gore is initially successful but tailors off as the year progresses as guys such as James/Hunter get more and more carries and the offense evolves into a more multi-dimentional threat!

Post of the mother f**king year!!!
There are certain types of people I know better than to count out as being "done" just because they have injuries or struggle. Frank Gore is definately one of those kinds of people. Every player eventually "loses a step" (and more), but this dude is not going to fall down into mediocrity without a fight.
I think Gore gets the same role as our feature starting back again next year. Jacobs gets some play on 3rd and short downs. James/Hunter will get the odd down here and there to get them some experience and test the waters. I think Frank has a better year next year than last.
[ Edited by BayArea on May 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM ]
Yeah he's definitely done. First ever 100 yard game in the opener and averaged 7 yards a carry. Gotta love these threads
It looked a lot like he was avoiding contact at the end of runs yesterday, especially the outside runs. I don't think he's lost a step if he really wanted to push the limit because he looked damn quick in preseason.

I think he's being a little smarter at deciding when to push it and when not to.

Also, most RB's would appear slow after you see Kendall Hunter bursting around.

Originally posted by Wubbie:
quite possibly his last year on the team.


oh hell naw.
Originally posted by DirtyP:
Yeah he's definitely done. First ever 100 yard game in the opener and averaged 7 yards a carry. Gotta love these threads

Done? Who said he was done? BW might have not signed him LT and cut him at this stage (while already having someone coached up to take his place anyhow) but he's not done. He's DONE being the every down, bell cow back b/c of Hunter, James, Jacobs, etc. He had a great first half last year too. This running-back-by-committee is a team approach to keep him strong and healthy throughout the year.

I personally loved that his TD was essentially an off-T run with only two blocks (Iupati & Miller). He looked quick/fast. He didn't have to stay in and block or catch passes (1 catch for 1 yard) and we used Hunter on th edges. If anything we're reducing his PT to what he does best and keeping him fresh! HaRoman is using him exactly how we should be using him...ride him all the way to the SuperBowl. Nobody (save for Alex) deserves it more, IMHO!
  • jrg
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didnt look like it yesterday
he has lost a step but he's still pretty good.
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I think he's lost top end speed, his burst, vision and timing was impeccable yesterday
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